The Best Power Banks and Portable Chargers to Keep Your Devices Juiced Up

The Best Power Banks and Portable Chargers to Keep Your Devices Juiced Up
Contributor: Alex Kidman, Isabella Noyes
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If you’re gearing up for your next holiday, whether it’s a short trip interstate or a long-haul flight to Europe, save yourself the trouble of a dead battery and bring a power bank with you.

It can feel virtually impossible to go anywhere without a phone, so it’s important to keep your device charged to some capacity every time you venture out and about. While you could always resign yourself to bringing your wall charger along, or use a public phone charger, you put yourself at risk of two potential consequences.

The first is a more awkward problem than not. After all, nobody wants to spend part of their day, squatting for a couple of hours in a corner trying to recharge a dead battery, when you could be climbing the Eiffel Tower or enjoying a nature walk.

The second issue you could come across is juice jacking, which is a serious security risk to your device. If you think about how much of personal information is stored in your phone, imagine what could happen if you plug into the wrong outlet out of desperation and welcome hackers to all of your private data. Of course, this problem can always be fixed with a data blocker.

So, if you want to ensure your phone’s battery stays in the green, grab yourself a power bank (a.k.a a portable charger). That way, you’ll always be prepared for anything.

The best power banks and portable chargers you can buy in Australia

PowerPack Universal

Image: SnapWireless

The PowerPack Universal is a five-in-one portable charger that’s designed for people who are always on the move. Instead of fussing over endless cables, the PowerPack comes with two built in, offering USB-C and lightning connection that will fit any Android or iPhone. It also has a couple of USB ports, so you can charge extra devices at the same time.

But the best part – for international travellers, anyway – is that it comes with three interchangeable adapter heads that are compatible all over the world, from Asia to North America and Europe.

Belkin 5,000mAh Magnetic Wireless Power Bank

Belkin power bank
Image: Belkin

While offering a much smaller battery capacity compared to most of the other power banks on this list, rest assured this magnetic portable charger still packs a punch. It’ll slide perfectly into your pocket or your backpack alongside your phone, and you can even flick out its little kickstand to keep it upright while watching a video or reading.

Charmast 5,000mAh Mini Power Bank

Image: Charmast

Next up is this mini portable charger by Charmast. Another low capacity power bank, you’re looking at getting about one charge out of this iPhone-compatible charger per use.

But what we find convenient about this nifty gadget is that it’s cordless, so you don’t have to worry about any stray cables hanging loose. You can still use your smartphone as you would normally, just keep in mind it may not be compatible with select cases.

ROMOSS 20,000mAh Portable Charger

Image: Romoss

This ROMOSS 20,000mAh charger has QuickCharge support, three output sockets and claims compatibility to recharge the Nintendo Switch.

Anker 20,000mAh Portable Charger

Anker power bank
Image: Anker

What we love about this power bank is that is caters to the new USB-C and old micro USB outlets as well as two USB 3.0 ports. You’ll be able to charge at least two devices at the same time at fairly quick speeds.

Where to buy: Amazon ($79.99) | eBay ($79.99)

Charmast 23,800mAh Power Delivery Power Bank

Image: Charmast

Charmast’s Power Bank has 23,800mAh to share out and plenty of ways to do so, with two standard USB ports, a USB-C port and a Quick Charge compatible port as well. It’s rated for power delivery at up to 20W, and Charmast claims compatibility with the Nintendo Switch and select Apple MacBook models.

iMuto 20,000mAh Portable Charger

iMuto’s power bank has 20,000mAh on board, two USB-A type outputs and a simple digital display so you can easily see how much power it has left. It also features an in-built flashlight, so even if your phone is lacking in juice, you could still use it by itself to make your way in the dark.

OISLE 4,225mAh Magnetic Wireless Mini Power Bank

Credit: Amazon

OISLE’s magnetic power bank has got to be one of the most aesthetic and compact portable chargers on the market. This cute little fellow comes in five colours and is about half the size of your phone. Unlike other chargers, its biggest draw is the fact that you don’t have to worry about dealing with a dangling cable as you try to get from A to B. In fact, you can tuck it into your back pocket while you wait rather than fish it out of your bag.

Another cool feature is that the logo lights up in three various colours to indicate how much battery juice remains. However, in comparison to the other portable chargers mentioned, it does have a low capacity of just just 4,225mAh. Translation? Slow charging speed, but ideal for sustaining your phone before its battery completely depletes on your way home.

Zhonghang 26,800mAh Solar Portable Charger

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the great outdoors, you know how important it is to have enough battery power. With a battery capacity of 26,800mAh, the Zhonghang power bank can achieve five to six full charges for most iPhone and Samsung models.

You’re able to recharge this power bank with sunlight, and it even has an in-built LED flashlight. It also happens to be water-proof, dust-proof, and shock-proof, so it’ll withstand whatever is thrown at it.

ZHAM 30,000mAh Solar Portable Charger

Image: Amazon

Awfully similar to the Zhonghang previously mentioned, the ZHAM Solar Power Bank boasts a 30,000mAh which claims it can charge your iPhone 13 up to six times or your Samsung S8 up to seven times.

Dubbed the “outdoorsy man’s favourite battery bank”, it features an LED flashlight. While you may be tempted to argue your phone already has a torch, your phone definitely doesn’t have four strobe light modes which can help you flash an emergency signal if you’re ever in a pickle.

What to know before buying a power bank

How many recharges will you get?

Image: iStock/5./15 WEST

As smartphones have grown more advanced with increased battery sizes and more energy-demanding tech, so too has the market for portable chargers. It’s not hard to find a portable charger, but it’s important to make sure it can meet all of your needs.

If you’re just looking to recharge your smartphone, there’s an incredibly rough calculation that you could do in order to determine the number of times you might be able to recharge your phone from a fully charged power bank.

Take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a phone with a 5,000mAh internal battery. A 20,000mAh power bank can recharge it four times if it’s fully charged, right?

Not quite, although you should see more than three recharges if the power bank is relatively new and fully charged for sure.

The realities of power transmission are inherently lossy, and the actual transmission rate of the power will also have an effect on how much charge it’s able to put out on a given device. Just like your smartphone, over time a power bank’s internal battery will also lose capacity, so if you’re using an older model, you might not see full capacity when it comes to juicing up your devices.

How many devices do you need to keep juiced up?

power bank
Image: iStock/Anatoliy Sizov

Most high-capacity power banks feature multiple outputs, which is handy if you’re planning on powering up more than just your smartphone, or if you just want to be nice to your friends and family when they’re caught in a bind.

It’s worth matching up connector types here too. While USB-A is the most common (because most charging cables end with that rectangular type plug anyway), there are some power banks that offer up either USB-C or Apple’s Lightning connection points, although the latter is fairly rare in an output sense. When charging up the power bank, you should get a compatible cable whether your device uses micro USB, USB-C or Lightning, but usually not an actual plug charger.

What kind of power output do you need?

There’s a certain universality when it comes to charging smartphones from a power bank, because you can pretty much plug any phone into any power bank and get the electrons flowing.

However, that’s not the full story if you want faster charging, and especially if you need a power bank to back up your laptop’s power supply. Some power banks do support standards such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge if your phone supports that standard, meaning you can juice up your phone much faster, but there are alternative standards such as Oppo’s VOOC, which aren’t usually called out in power bank specifications. If a power bank can deliver higher wattage to your connected device you may find it charges faster, but it’s not guaranteed.

It’s a little more complex if you want a power bank to keep power flowing to a laptop or other high wattage device. What you want to look for there is a power bank that offers Power Delivery, or PD, as a standard.

With the right mix of power bank, cable and device, it is possible to deliver power to laptops, although this can be a little hit and miss, because the device and the power bank have to effectively negotiate the power delivery level that will be safely used. Many laptops may simply opt to use the power bank as an external power source – so they sap the battery but don’t actually “recharge” while in use – which is a safer option than fusing out your laptop, of course.

Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims and user reviews on Amazon.

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At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.